Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Audience rapture with splendid performance from Tudor Consort

The Tudor Consort is noted not only for wonderful singing; it is also noteworthy for its innovative programming. This time, an almost full Sacred Heart Cathedral heard music of Victoria. It is not infrequently that we hear short choral works by this composer, but a Requiem Mass extended by liturgical items such as the Collect, the Epistle, the Gospel and others, was new. These liturgical movements were either plainsong settings... read more

An experience to be savoured – Kari Kriikku with the NZSO

By , 30/10/2015

The concert certainly lived up to its title - this was no genteel, well-manicured, orderly assemblage of dulcet, well-rounded tones, but a feisty, attention-grabbing trio of pieces which, thanks to on-the-spot advocacy from concerto soloist, conductor and players, certainly made a lasting impact.

Because of the sheer physicality of each of the works, as well as the presence of a soloist in the second piece who wasn't backward... read more

Sistema Hutt Valley’s Arohanui Strings and related ensembles offer wonderful example

To demonstrate the ethos and value of this programme for primary school children from Taita and Pomare, I quote in full the note on the printed programme from the concert: "[This] is part of a visionary global movement transforming the lives of children through music. "Right here in the Hutt Valley, we are building a youth orchestra in a neighborhood where children normally do not have access to private music lessons... read more

NZSM piano students give impressively mature performances at St Andrew’s

By , 28/10/2015
The end-of-year exposure of five of the most talented piano students at the New Zealand School of Music was, I suppose, a follow-on from the four-day series of student recitals between 5 and 8 October which had featured cellos, violas, voices and guitars. The five pianists were placed according to their academic level, but I could not have distinguished them merely on the basis of the standard of their performances... read more

Aroha Quartet , with SOUNZ and RNZ Concert, does local composers proud

By , 26/10/2015

This concert was the initial fruitful outcome of a new collaborative project between SOUNZ (Centre for New Zealand Music), Radio New Zealand Concert, and the Aroha Quartet. It was undertaken in association with CANZ (Composers' Association of New Zealand) and Chamber Music New Zealand.

The Aroha String Quartet rehearsed and workshopped seven pieces for string quartet prior to recording sessions (held over the weekend of October 24th/25th) during... read more

Monumental complete organ works of Bach continue from organists of St Paul’s Cathedral

Another varied programme in the Bach Project – this was concert no 25! – greeted a fairly sparse audience. Several of the items, identified by the German word ‘deest’, are not to be found in the Bach catalogue (BWV), and a number of others are catalogued in the appendices (Anh.). So these are probably heard much less frequently than those with BWV numbers. In speaking to the audience before playing... read more

Enchanting, polished recital by Rebecca Steel, flute and Ingrid Bauer, harp

By , 21/10/2015
I last heard Rebecca Steel in a recital with Simon Brew and Jane Curry, as the Amistad Trio, in May, when I commented that it was the third concert involving the flute in a month. I wasn’t complaining. Here she was, a confident, conspicuous figure, contrasting with the commonly perceived view of the flute as an instrument of ethereal delicacy. With Ingrid Bauer’s harp, it proved a combination made in... read more

Nikau Ensemble at St Mark’s Lower Hutt with Mozart and Dohnányi

I had gone to St. Mark’s expecting to hear Arohanui Strings, young string players of primary school age who have free tuition in a Sistema-style programme in the Hutt Valley. Instead, as I entered the church, I heard a flute being warmed up in the vestry. On came the Nikau Ensemble, minus their oboist Madeline Sakofsky, who was indisposed. They were scheduled to appear next week. Not that the ensemble... read more

New trio by Ken Young, an under-rated Saint-Saëns trio and Beethoven, not as you know him

By , 19/10/2015
The programmes put together by NZTrio are always unpredictable or eccentric or from left field; there’s always something that attracts strongly, something that rings a bell and induces you to give it a go, and something quite unknown – usually a new work and often by a New Zealand composer. The latter was the case here – a commission by the trio itself from New Zealand composer Kenneth Young The... read more

Hamish McKeich’s final WYO concert a knockout

By , 19/10/2015

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and enlivening programme, and as it turned out a  most appropriate way for the Wellington Youth Orchestra to (a) conclude a successful playing-year, and (b) farewell conductor Hamish McKeich, who's been the orchestra's inspirational music director for the past four years. Having heard nothing about Hamish's departure beforehand, I was surprised when the concert's master of ceremonies, Peter Dykes made the announcement... read more

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